The German national television, which is funded through a special tax office (and can place ads as well,the bastards) employs some very unusual tactics to get their money.
Everybody who can potentially receive the national TV or radio, has got to pay. Never mind if he isn't interested in that crap or that his TV is broken or his Stereo has a built in radio he has never used and he doesn't understand german.
To ensure that, they use outbound service executives who do the utmost to bust you.
They try to get in your house and will use every trick or lie to convict you to sign some paper stating that you have had the undeclared possibility for watching TV which means you're going to pay thousands of Euros (and they get a fat bonus themselves).
I once had a discussion with one of these snitches and he shouted over the whole staircase, trying to embarrass me:
You're watching TV! I know it! I know you're lying, I see exactly when someone's watching TV! Come back! I'm gonna come back with the cops!
Yup, this slut has come three times now controlling wheather or not I own a radio.
I only got loud after the second time or so.
Funny, she never visits any more :-(.
God, I hate this assholes.
I only pay for my TV since the census.
Yes, they have access to that data.
Words fail me to describe what I think of this government whores.
What? Austrian GEZtapo has access to official data regarding your possession of a TV? Sick.
I really don't see any need for a special tax when they a) can do commercials and b) don't use their material "independence" for good tv since they are imitating practically any existing cable crap like the various SuperStar BS, soaps, and reality TV.
ARTE, which I like to watch here and there because it has great docus, and stuff like short films, is funded by other taxpots, so I can sleep well.
In short- the whole german TV escapade is a great example of stupid tax tyranny for nothing.